Norfolk >Food & Dining > Empire Little Bar Bistro
245 Granby St, Norfolk, VA | Directions 2351036.849745 -76.290567
Monday To Sunday From 05:00 PM To 02:00 AM
One of my worst experiences – My wife, 2 friends, and myself walked in to grab a beer and a snack around 11pm a couple weeks ago. Never been to this establishment before. My wife and I sat down at the bar by ourselves and my 2 friends walked up to another part of the bar. Bar was empty. Took 5 minutes before being acknowledged by the bartender. Ordered our beers. Took a while but finally came back with our beers. We had been there for over 10 minutes and just got our beer and still have no menu (the place was empty). This was no big deal, my wife and I worked in the business so we are always chill when service is less than standard. The following is what made me come write this. My wife orders an appetizer blindly, meaning we have not seen the menu yet and we are a bit hungry. The bartender finally grabs/snatches menus from the holder, hands them to us, and says, "If you want that, go across the street" (talking about the closed restaurant across the street). Now, reading this on the internet, its hard for you to hear the pretentious/smart ass voice this worker said it in. So he walks away and I haven't yet computed what just happened. We sit there for a minute and when he comes back to take our orders, I politely tell him that I don't appreciate him talking down to my wife. He comes back with, "I can kick you out at any time." So we got up and said, "We are going to leave before you get the chance." Slid the menu towards him and said, "This was the worst experience we have had in a restaurant." He said, "Why don't you come across the bar and say that to my face." The guy is a very small guy which made this kinda funny. He said much more than this but you get the idea. The worker was a short, bald, skinny guy. This is the abridged version.
nice tapas restaurant – I went for the first time on valentine's day. I enjoyed trying the different tapas but being the tapas lover that I am found the menu to be a bit small. The place is small so it will fill up quickly but overall I enjoyed my experience.
We have always had great food here. The service is always good here. The menu is creative and I appreciate the seasonal changes. Very good drinks but perhaps a bit pricey. It does get crowded later in the evening so best to go early.
Eh – If I could sum up our visit in one word it would be "eh". The food was good and the service wasn't too bad, but I didn't find the place to be anything special. The tapas was about the same price as a much better place down the street.
Excellent small plates, intimate atmosphere – Cozy, intimate albeit small place on the corner of Granby and Tazewell. Food served until 2am which is a bonus. Very interesting menu, just the right sizes.....always excellent specials. Extensive cocktail/martini/wine list. It is crowded so go earlier in the evening if you want to make sure you get a table.
Intimate and crowded – I love this place--we stop there often as we can. Very interesting food, just-right portions, great martinis and drinks.
Chic, eclectic tapas and martinis in the heart of Norfolk's Restaurant Row. – The Scene
Seating only 32, this place fills up fast: Granby Street regulars pop by for a drink; theatergoers hurry in for a snack. Old-style ceiling fans with shell-shaped paddles lend a Southern feel, but instead of iced tea and lemonade, the staples here are moderately-priced martinis and fancy treats. With half the seats overlooking either the bar or the grill, you're likely to get to know the chef as well as the bartender.
Whether soup or snack, dishes work because a sense of proportion informs the flavoring. The oyster stew is creamy and not too full of potatoes; the Mexican pizza is zesty but none too spicy. Even the sweet coating on the lightly fried pork and ginger dumplings impresses, as it puts the traditional pot sticker sauce to shame. Spinach ravioli in a thick gorgonzola white sauce gets a pleasingly woody kick from chopped walnuts. It's the little things that count.
Great Little Night Spot – For those that like smaller, yet professional atmosphere's, Empire is the place to be. It can only hold around 50 people but the martinis are great and the tapas are exceptional. It could seem pricey for some but the atmosphere and service is worth it. Enjoy!
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